6 thoughts on “Biden/Harris Transition Process

  1. (Note: This was originally posted on 11/23/20 in “Trump Journal (10)–Interregnum”)

    Biden’s team

    I respect Hennesey, so this is great to hear:

    Biden’s team is diverse, with lots of women and some people of color. I really like this. Of the names I’ve seen a lot of them are really experienced, too, which is reassuring.

    12/8/2020

    Biden picks a general for Sec. of Defense. The reaction from the people I follow have not been positive, and I tend to agree with their concerns–civilian leading DoD would be more appropriate. Here’s a long thread on the concerns, but someone who I believe is well-respected. (Note: I haven’t read the whole thing.)

    On the positive side. General Lloyd Austin, is African-American, and would be the first African-American Secretary of Defense.

  2. Attorney General

    I really wanted to talk about the current list of candidates for this position–Sally Yates, Merrick Garland, and Doug Jones.

    My sense is that Yates and Garland have the experience, expertise and character to run the DOJ. (Actually, I think Yates has the administrative experience, but I’m not sure Garland does.) However, unlike some other people I’ve read, I’m really concerned that if they did anything against a Republican or Trump, this would be seen as an act of retribution. I guess they could recuse themselves, but I’m not sure this would remove the problem. I’m also quite sure Trump, the GOP, and conversative media would push this narrative as well.

    That may not be the issue with Jones, but I’m not sure he’s the best candidate.

    1. It’s so difficult to evaluate this stuff. I’m not a lawyer and all I know about Garland is what people said when he was a Supreme Court nominee. Yates is a hero but I have no idea what kind of administrator she is or what she knows about working with the president-elect. There don’t seem to be red flags (at least, not the sort we’ve become used to seeing, which leaves me to consider other things, because that’s all I’ve got.

      Other things being (assumedly) equal, pick the woman over the man. Pick the person of color over the white person. That’s all I’ve got.

    2. I agree evaluating these picks is difficult. The basis for whether I think they will do a good job is slim, and I’m mostly relying on the opinion of others.

      However, I do think concern over the way Trump supporters, GOP, and conservative media will perceive and react to the actions of Yates and Garland, particularly if and when the DOJ goes after Trump or people from his administration, doesn’t require much more information than is publicly available. I don’t really know if Brett Kavanaugh has the skills and expertise to be a good SC judge, but I feel his angry rant about the Democrats, using the words, “what goes around comes around,” is a huge red flag–to the point of being disqualifying. If Kavanaugh plays a crucial role in a ruling that hurts Democrats, the latter will be justified in questioning the fairness of the decision.

      While Yates or Garland never said anything like that (to my knowledge), Trump, the GOP, and the conservative media will almost certainly play this angle, and it could have traction. I would lean towards picking someone who doesn’t have that doesn’t have that “baggage.”

  3. Secretary of Interior and Head of the Environmental Protection Agency

    With historic picks, Biden puts environmental justice front and center from WaPo

    President-elect Joe Biden tapped Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) Thursday to serve as the first Native American Cabinet secretary and head the Interior Department, a historic pick that marks a turning point for the U.S. government’s relationship with the nation’s Indigenous peoples.

    With that selection and several others this week, Biden is sending a clear message that the officials who will confront the nation’s environmental problems will look like the Americans who are disproportionately affected by toxic air and despoiled land. He has named North Carolina environmental regulator Michael S. Regan to become the first Black man to head the Environmental Protection Agency and Obama administration veteran to serve as the first Black chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

    I don’t know anything about these two, but, on a symbolic level, I love it!

    Chase Iron Eyes, a Native American activist and attorney with the Lakota People’s Law Project, said that while Indigenous people have several champions in Congress, he is relieved to see that the department will be run by someone who’s a tribal member.

    “It could not have been in our forefathers’ dreams to have an actual Indian be appointed at the Cabinet level in the agency that is meant to oversee their absorption,” he said.

  4. National Security Team

    (I’m going to include positions that relate to national security, e.g., CIA director, etc.)

    On the nominee for CIA director:

    This is a good to hear. I heard to former CIA guys also give a positive response to this pick.

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